Robot Hub

Spot The Robotic Dog Is Here To Give You Nightmares About The Robot Uprising - VIDEO

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Do you remember BigDog, Boston Dynamics’s terrifying (but also cool) quadruped robot designed to assist soldiers through unfavorably rough terrain? Of course you do; it’s been haunting your nightmares of the robot uprising. Never one to leave well enough alone, the Google-funded company is back with a smaller, more nimble version of its canine-like robot they’re calling Spot.

Spot, like its larger relatives, moves around using a system of four articulated legs, an on-board computer, and an array of sensors that allow the machine to adapt to its surroundings much in the same way that an actual animal would.

As uncanny as it is to watch Spot dressage-trot its way through Boston Dynamics HQ, it’s difficult not to be impressed at the moments in which its behavior very closely resembles that of a living animal.

As Neel Patel explains in Wired, much of the life-like behavior showcased in the video is a natural outgrowth of Spot’s programming that’s designed to allow it to respond to external stimulus. In those moments where the two Spot units bump into one another, the machines attempt to correct the collision by orienting themselves in relation to one another. Programmatically, Spot’s making sure to move unencumbered. Visually, however, it looks like they’re purposefully trying to move together.

If the Matrix has taught us anything it’s that we should all consider investing in handheld electromagnetic pulse devices.

Check out footage of Boston Dynamics’s newest four-legged terror AFTER THE JUMP...

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Meet Beachbot, Disney's Adorable Robot That Makes Massive Drawings In The Sand: VIDEO


This little guy could have his own Pixar film. 

Created in conjunction with ETH Zürich, Disney's "Beachbot" brings precision and artistry to the world of robotics. Tech Crunch reports:

The robot — aptly called “Beachbot” — works by dragging a set of pins through the sand, sort of like a rake. Each pin is individually raisable, allowing the bot to draw lines of varying thicknesses. More pins down = thicker lines drawn.

The artist behind the robot starts a canvas by setting down poles, which the robot uses as markers to finely calculate its position. At that point, the robot can be passed an image file to draw automatically, or the artists can steer it manually.

The Beachbot moves on a set of large, soft wheels that Disney has dubbed “balloon wheels”, allowing it to move across the sand without leaving tracks or screwing up whatever it’s drawn previously.

Check out Beachbot in action, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Google's New Robot Will Give the Karate Kid A Run For His Money: VIDEO


Boston Dynamics, a firm owned by Google, has created a robot that is at once awe-inspiring and terrifying. In a new video released by the tech firm, the robot simulates a balancing act that may be familiar to fans of the film The Karate Kid, as The Guardian points out:

The Atlas robot created by Google-owned firm Boston Dynamics is a formidable figure at 6ft 2in tall and weighing in at 330lb.

The robot boasts 28 hydraulically actuated joints and stereo vision, and is one of the most advanced robots ever created.

However, it's not just karate - Ian has another trick up his sleeve - software written by the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Interaction which allows him to drive a car.

'To achieve this level of maneuverability in robots, researchers at IHMC look toward nature,' the team say.

'Inspired by the speed of cheetahs, the endurance of horses, the maneuverability of monkeys, and the versatility of humans, IHMC researchers are on a quest to develop legged robots that are fast, efficient, and graceful, with the mobility required to access many of the same places that humans can.'

Watch Ian in action, AFTER THE JUMP...

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MIT Researchers Create Robotic Cheetah: VIDEO


Researchers at MIT have been trying to understand animal locomotion and thanks to the development of a recent "bounding" algorithm, those researchers are now making great strides. They have created a robotic cheetah which they hope will simulate and ultimately match the abilities of an actual cheetah. Currently the MIT robot cheetah can run up to 10 mph and jump over a 33 cm high obstacle. The goal of this research?

“Recently we are focusing on quadrupeds, or four-legged animals and we try to understand how they efficiently run in the field and nature so that we can take that inspiration and then use it in our engineering world. So for example we can create prosthetic legs out of that technology and you could even make new transportation replacing cars so that you don't need the road in our world.”

 Watch a video of Robo-Cheetah in action, along with interviews with the researchers, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Robosnakes Will Slither Their Way into Your Heart, Literally: VIDEO


Adding to the menagerie of creepy robots that includes the Martian-esque MorpHex hexapod and Boston Dynamics' aptly-named Cheetah is Medrobotics' robosnake. The artificial reptiles can climb poles, are waterproof, and can even be deployed inside you for heart surgery. Surely there is nothing to fear.

You can watch the robosnake in action and study its weaknesses AFTER THE JUMP...

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Why In The World Do We Need A Robot Kangaroo? - VIDEO


You can now add robot kangaroos to the ever-growing list of robot animals that will one day be our overlords, including the cinder-block tossing robot dogs, robot sand fleascreepy robo-spiders and the robo-cheetah.

The kangaroo is developed by a company called Festo, and while you may be wondering why the heck engineers would want to build a robot kangaroo (or "robo-roo" as we shall now call it), it’s all part of their Bionic Learning Network:

Whether it’s energy efficiency, lightweight construction or function integration – over time, nature has developed a wealth of optimisation strategies for adapting to its environment, and these strategies can be applied to the world of engineering. The Biomechatronic Footprint documents this evolution – from a natural model to a basic technical principle, followed by bionic adaptation and ending with industrial application.

Apart from counterbalacing technology that could one day help people with prosthetic legs jump more ably, robo-roo also uses kinetic energy from each jump to help power its next jump — an interesting innovation indeed.

If you’d like to see what other robot overlords Festo will destroy us with in the future, you can also check out their entire menagerie of robo-animals including robotic penguins, jellyfish and birds.

See robo-roo in action AFTER THE JUMP...


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